FCIA Fine Chocolate Glossary


A chocolate product that contains the same ingredients as a high-quality chocolate bar, but with the following main differences:

(1) finer and smoother texture, which is achieved through grounding of the cocoa solids during the production process; and

(2) higher percentage of cocoa butter to:
a) speed up the melting of the chocolate
b) increase the fluidity of the melted chocolate so that it is easier to temper, and becomes more stable and harder when crystallized.

Therefore, couverture is ideal for both molding and enrobing, as well as covering cakes and pastries. A top class couverture has a balanced taste with an excellent consistency, aroma, and flavor. It also has a good snap or break, with an optimum fineness and sheen, as well as delicate melting properties.

For some couvertures, instead of adding more cocoa butter, a small amount of lecithin (the most common being soy lecithin and sunflower lecithin) may be added to achieve the same improvement in fluidity, but at a lower cost.

In Europe, couverture must contain not less than 35 % total dry cocoa solids, including not less than 31 % cocoa butter and not less than 2.5 % of dry non-fat cocoa solids.

A cocoa fat percentage of 35-38% is considered ideal for enrobing, both hand-dipped and by machine, and 38-40% for molded products, molded chocolates, and larger figures.

There are many couverture variations which include, among others: single-origin and blended dark or milk chocolate couvertures made with top quality cocoa beans; vegan couverture made with alternative milk; alternative sugar or sugar-free couverture; blonde couverture with caramelised sugar and/or caramelised milk powder; cream couverture with a particularly high percentage of milk fat.

Próximamente versión en español

Couverture by Guittard Chocolate

Description and properties of couverture #815 by Barry Callebaut

Entry added: March 21, 2023
Verified on: September 14, 2023

Authored by

Albert Chau, General Manager, Fifth Dimension Chocolates Ltd

Keith Hurdman, Master Chocolatier/Confectioner & Pastry Chef (Independent Consultant)


International Food Standards: Standard For Chocolate And Chocolate Products, Codex Alimentarius, Codex Stan 87 – 1981 – Section 2.2.2, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) & World Health Organization (WHO), 2016 Amendment (accessed December 9, 2022)

Directive 2000/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 June 2000 relating to cocoa and chocolate products intended for human consumption

What is Couverture Chocolate? Everything You Need To Know,” Ruby Willow, Read Cacao, February 14, 2023

What Is Couverture Chocolate? Buying and Cooking With Couverture Chocolate,” Elizabeth LaBau, The Spruce Eats, July 20, 2022

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